Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Coffee Is Losing Its Flavour :(

Funny thing, being a coffee addict.  

Having been smoking for so many years, I really never thought about the changes to your taste buds.  I started smoking somewhere around 13 years old. So, that means I've been smoking almost 20 years. Wow! Isn't that sick?  
Now, today is my 2 week smoke free marker!  I'm quite proud of myself and very grateful to those who are supporting me on this.  Especially my trucker who shocked my pants off by suddenly quitting with me!  He's doing good too, thank you, 10 days today for him. 

I am realizing that YES it is true that your senses change.  I was never one to smoke indoors, as I've mentioned before.  We have smoked outside, year round, so I never had to deal with the smell in my house. But we have smoked in vehicles.  When we headed out for shopping a few days ago, I jumped in the truck with my hubby and noticed quickly that it DIDN'T smell like an ashtray.  Never really noticed the residual smell before, except when you first put out a cigarette. That smell never really went away, because when you jump in, you light up again. Right?

As my senses change, I realize that after 20 years (almost) there are a lot of things I have probably not actually tasted.  At least, not the real full flavor of many things.  

Like my coffee!!

I didn't start drinking coffee until high school. Grade 10 or 11 at least.  But I was smoking by grade 8.  So I never really had the taste of coffee in the same sense....
Timmie's keeps you warm!

I'm sad to say (though it will DEFINITELY save me money down the road....) I'm losing my addiction to Timmie's too!  My coffee just does NOT taste the same anymore.
Coffee at home or anywhere for that matter, is just not the same.  Not because I normally smoke with my cuppa, because I didn't.  But it just tastes different.

I hope I figure this out!!! I don't know how to function without the caffeine!  Half the people at my kid's school know me by my coffee mug... 

I thought about giving up the Timmie's too... but really, that's like cutting off a leg or an arm.  Or losing a close friend!  I just can't do it...  I guess I'll learn to like it again...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Believe In Santa Claus

Why does everyone claim that Christmas is too commercial?  That it is loaded with pressures and expectations and we could be better off without it?
Because they see credit card debt, and greed and stress.

Setting aside any religious ties to the holiday - I'm not about to tangle with those beliefs - there is so much good to be found during Christmas. Sure, we should be kind and caring and helpful all year. Of course, we should make time for family and friends, year round.  But it just doesn't always work that way.

What about the magic of it all? Is it not a good thing for children to believe in Santa? To believe in something bigger than themselves or their parents?  It doesn't necessarily create greed, unless of course the parents pave the way for that expectation.  Santa doesn't always bring 'exactly' what you want.  
Santa KNOWS, you know, just what you need.

In the words of one very smart boy, 
"How stupid is that?  Why would parents go buy presents for their kids and give someone else the credit?"  
This is a VERY accurate statement.  How self-less is a parent who refuses credit for possibly the best gift of the year?  Why would you give that glory away to a stranger who sneaks into your house on Christmas eve?  
They wouldn't!
Santa exists, you see. Santa KNOWS.  He knows what your parents are capable of giving and gives them a helping hand.

Hmmm... It's all about the spirit of giving, right? Santa has that spirit. In fact, Santa fully embodies the spirit of giving self-lessly.  He doesn't send your kids a letter in November saying "I want chocolate milk this year. Oh, and can you leave those marshmallow squares again, by time I get to your house I've had 35 763 cookies already and need a break."
Santa gives because we believe.  

We believe in the spirit of the season, where giving anonymously is not just accepted but encouraged.  Give because you have.... and one day, when you find you are in need, you just might receive also.

Sure there may be times when the only gifts under the tree are from Santa, maybe the family just doesn't have enough to make ends meet.  Or years where the gifts from Santa come a bit early in a black bag on your doorstep instead of down the chimney....And so, again in the words of my dear boy 
"Santa is especially important to poor families."  
Shouldn't all those who are suffering have reason to believe that miracles can happen?  Shouldn't every one have faith that things can and will get better?  We all have the right to believe in something more than just the here and now.
For the families who feel pressured to hit the high marks for the holidays... 
you need to let it go!! 
It should be more important to spend an afternoon baking with your kids and giving special treats to your friends and family instead of gifts.  We should not compete or feel obligated to buy, buy, buy.
Big companies monopolize on Christmas because of the weakest of us. Some people will always need to be the 'best.'  Some people buy to maintain their appearances, to puff themselves up with pride.  And others, like a very good friend of mine says 
"I give because I want to. I give because I can.  I do not give, just so that you will give back."
So turn off the TV, stop watching those commercials. Make memories, not debts. 
Christmas is important.  
If for no other reason than to remind us all to look at what is really important.  Face it, life these days is very busy. BUT, in December we MAKE time to be with those we care about.  Why?  Because it's Christmas.  If the world started focusing on "spend time with family day" on, say, July 12th.... would we still debate the motivations?  What if there just wasn't a holiday for this?  Would we still find ways to MAKE time?  Or would these memories just get lost in the shuffle of daily living?
Santa is important.
He shares the real spirit of giving.  He gives and gets out.  He doesn't stick around because he is worried about what your kids will think of their presents.  He doesn't hang out because he wants to be thanked....
He leaves, and doesn't expect anything.  Giving is inside us all.  Give and get out.  Do not wait to be thanked... Do not wait to be noticed. Give because you want to, because you CAN.

And leave it at that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Hardest Part Of Quitting Smoking

So far, things are going not too bad. 
I have enlisted the help of a Nicorette aid.  Which does take the "I want to rip someone's head off" edge of the cravings.

I had a slip in resolve yesterday, but then really thought about what I was doing.  It tasted so awful having not had that for more than 24 hours.  It stunk, gave me a really gross after taste and left a film in my mouth.  It also, you can ask the hubby, made me so light-headed and AIR-headed for quite a while afterwards.  It was like being drunk.  I couldn't talk straight!
So I was reminded, by making a mistake in quitting, that mistakes are GOOD. We learn from them and move on.  

I woke up this morning, knowing that I could do this.  I felt strong and in control. I made sure that I grabbed the nicorette before I took the kids to school. My normal routine means that my first smoke of the day was after dropping kids off at school.  I'd have the smoke before I got back in the house when I came home.
I don't have to worry about eliminating things like coffee or drinking, even temporarily, as I have smoked outside 100% of the time.  I never had my coffee with a smoke.  And besides the fact that smoking in bars is illegal now, I have only drank maybe twice this year!  I've got a lot of advantages behind me and I know that.
I have learned that much of the reason I smoke when I am at home, no matter how cold it was outside, was to get a break from the busy-ness of the house and the noise level of the kids.  It was less about the cigarette and more about the peace and quiet or break.

So, the hardest part of quitting so far?

Timing!  I can't drink my coffee while sucking on the nicorette lozenge. Even if it is too close after the lozenge I feel that acidic feeling in the back of my throat.  My morning revolves around coffee! (and much of my afternoon and occasionally my evenings...) I'm hopeful though, maybe this is what I need to actually remember to FINISH a cup in one sitting?  I have to alternate!
Normally, I get the coffee ready and have my first cup in the Go-Mug when I take the kids to school. Smoke when I come back, come in and refill the coffee. Today, I grabbed the lozenge first, and let it carry me through getting the kids to school. Then when I got home I was able to pour my coffee right away and enjoy the whole thing, while it was hot.
The trouble came around the third cup of coffee, I wanted my coffee but I was starting to feel the craving pretty strong... I had to decide which was first.
Beating this smoking monster WON. I can have coffee later. (wow, did I say that out loud??)

I have also noticed that during the day, when it's just the little one and I, and I am working at home, I often have a smoke in 'transitional' periods.  Switching from breakfast with the wee one to starting work, or getting off the computer for a phone call. Or after an unexpected break, like when I'm working hard and some unfriendly aroma makes me stop to change a diaper!  I would go have a smoke before getting back to the first task.
I know that time issues would not be likely for someone who smoked in their home and I am grateful that the trucker and I have never wavered on that issue.  I'd estimate that by not smoking, I save myself at least an hour and a half every day.  Time that could be much better used, for sure!  No more getting the coats and shoes and gloves on to go outside and freeze!  I've said for years that winter is the best time to quit for me.

I don't know why I've waited so long.
Wish me luck!  (And strength)